22 January 2008

Adios, Jose y Amigos

One week ago, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled that Jose Padilla met the criteria for a 30 years to life sentence due to the terrorism aspect of his August conspiracy conviction. Today, however, Judge Cooke sentenced him to 17 years and four months.

Jose Padilla, a Chicago gang member once accused by the Bush administration of plotting a radioactive bomb attack, was sentenced by a U.S. court on Tuesday to 17 years and four months in prison for supporting terrorism. [...]

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke noted in her sentence that while the crimes were "serious," no acts of terrorism were carried out on U.S. soil, and there was no plot to overthrow the U.S. government.

"There was no evidence the defendants had personally killed or maimed anyone," she said.

"The sentence will serve to inform others ... that conspiracy to support murder, maiming and kidnapping will not be tolerated in this country."
His co-conspirators, Adham Hassoun and Kifah Jayyousi, were sentenced to 15 years and eight months and 12 years and eight months, respectively. I would have rather seen longer sentences, but at least they were all over a decade.

Hopefully they will put some special administrative measures in place to limit and monitor the communications of these three while they are in prison. Such measures are legitimate means to ensure that those with terror ties don't pass information or help plan new attacks from behind bars. And, if attempts to communicate with unsavory types take place, we may get leads on other terror conspirators in our midst.


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